Luis Santana - Photographer


I started out as a firefighter, then a paramedic. Later on, I moved into freelance photography, taking pictures for local news agencies. That led to a career change after I caught the attention of photo editors at the then-St. Petersburg Times. I joined the staff on June 6, 2006 (and no, I’m not superstitious about all those 6s). I became one of the first journalists in the area to use drones, and now, that work has been celebrated and seen around the world. I specialize in covering breaking news, from the ground and in the air. Protests and parades. Hurricanes and wildfires. Sinkholes and speeding cars. I also live-stream events for a growing digital audience. I’m a husband, a father of three and a dog dad.

  1. Cientos se reunieron el domingo por la noche en solidaridad con el pueblo de Cuba en Tampa mientras gritaban "Cuba Libre', bailaban y cantaban en las calles de Himes Ave. t Dale Mabry el domingo 11 de julio en Tampa. La multitud, en su mayoría cubanoamericanos, se reunió para mostrar su apoyo al levantamiento que está ocurriendo en Cuba.
  2. May 30• Photos
  3. Tinnley Sage West, 1, is reunited with her mother after a suspect stole the family vehicle eventually leaving the vehicle behind in the parking lot of St. Andrews Methodist Church on Bryan Road on Tuesday in Brandon.
  4. Ray Hetterich of St. Petersburg surveys the damage to his Florida room from a tornado that spun up his street near the Intracoastal Waterway early Sunday. Hetterich had been nodding off in the room when a tornado warning sounded on his cell phone.
  5. A bus that was marked as the Kansas City Chiefs team bus was surrounded by Bucs fans on Dale Mabry Highway after the Super Bowl Sunday night.
  6. Cpl. Brian LaVigne, third from left, received a Community Service Award in May 2019 from the Alafia River Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. LaVigne was killed Tuesday night when a driver deliberately slammed into his patrol car, investigators said. With LaVigne in the photo is his daughter Deputy Caitlin LaVigne and DAR members Melody Powers, left, and Roberta Jordan, right.
  7. Crowds of patrons gather on 7th ave. as they celebrate New Years Eve at nightclubs and restaurants on Friday in Ybor City.
  8. Tornado damage is evident on Cross Bayou Drive at Canal Street at an industrial park off Endeavor Way which was damaged by a tornado on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Pinellas Park. The storm struck mid-Pinellas County on Wednesday afternoon knocking out power to thousands, authorities say. The same storm threatened east Hillsborough County and Polk County. However, the National Weather Service lifted tornado warnings for those areas at 5:30 p.m. but warned residents to remain cautious about stormy weather.
  9. Bullet holes in the rear window show where deputies opened fire on a pickup truck in Riverview on Tuesday night. Dylan Ray Scott, 27, was fatally shot after refusing to get out of the truck and making a motion as if he were reaching for a gun, deputies said.